When you’ve been running, cycling, and swimming legs of 10,000 meters or more, you start to think about attempting a triathlon. Think seriously about must-have gear to start training for your first triathlon.
Pro Tip: Making Transitions
Remember that while the triathlon’s three disciplines, swimming, cycling, and running, each require specific gear, you don’t want to waste too much transitioning between events.
One of the challenges coming out of the swim is that cycling and running generate sweat that doesn’t wash away like it would during the swim.
Keeping sweat out of your eyes to keep your vision clear, and avoid interfering with sweat’s temperature-regulating purpose is critical during the cycling and running segments of a triathlon. Don’t lose time by fumbling around with a traditional fabric headband.
Veo strips are a revolutionary new kind of sweatband that adhere to the forehead; you can apply one before the swim, and it will stay on throughout the race. The waterproof adhesive keeps the strip in place under the swim cap.
And since they’re worn just above the eyebrows, Veo strips don’t interfere with the cycling helmet. They’ll stay on when you make the switch to the bike and when you come off the bike to start the run. Veo strip sweat-diverting headbands can save you precious seconds during triathlon event transitions.
Wetsuit: Wetsuits provide buoyancy, reduce drag, and help prevent hypothermia in cold seawater. Consider investing in an entry-level wetsuit that offers flexibility, support, and insulation.
Some racers opt for the “tri suit,” which goes from swimming to biking to running, so there’s no changing apparel between each stage. Tri suits feature quick-drying fabric and include chamois for comfort during the cycling segment of the race.
Goggles: Look for swim goggles with an anti-fog treatment, UV protection, and a secure, comfortable fit to help you focus on your swim technique and keep chlorine or saltwater from stinging your eyes.
Swim cap: Required in most triathlon races, a swim cap helps streamline your body, reducing drag in the water and protecting your hair from chlorine or saltwater.
Bike: Obviously, you need a quality racing bike for your first triathlon. Your choice depends on personal preference, budget, and the terrain of the race you’ll be attempting to complete.
Helmet: Purchase a new helmet (you can never be sure if a used helmet has been in a crash). Ensure it has proper ventilation, a secure fit, and certified safety standards to protect your head in an accident.
Cycling shoes: Shoes designed specifically for cycling clip into compatible bike pedals to maximize efficiency and prevent foot-slippage.
Cycling clothing: Choose moisture-wicking, lightweight, padded bike shorts, and accompanying shirts that won’t cause chafing.
Running shoes: Choose running shoes you can pull on and lace quickly after you kick off your cycling shoes, selected based on your running style, your stride, the running surface, and race conditions.
Socks: Choose moisture-wicking, breathable, and seamless socks to prevent blisters and keep your feet comfortable during your training and the race.
This list of essential gear to start training for your first triathlon will help you equip yourself during practice, so you can test your equipment and make sure it will be comfortable and durable on race day.